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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  December 4, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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hello again everyone. thank you so much for joining me me saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we start this hour with breaking news. parent of the accused michigan school shooter appearing in court first time after being arrested late last night after a statewide manhunt. james and jennifer crumbley arraigned this morning now facing four charges each of involuntary manslaughter. >> i understand you're charged with count four for the death of
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justy shilling with involuntary manslaughter punishable by 15 years in prison and/or up to $17,500 fine along with mandatory dna testing. >> i understand. >> they each pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. cnn was there as the couple was taken into custody that ended when police got a tip and tracked them down to a detroit warehouse. their 15-year-old son ethan was arrested tuesday and faces multiple charges including four first-degree murder counts. four students killed in the oxford high school shooting and seven other injured. cnn's athena jones is outside the oakland county sheriff's office. athena what more did we learn about what potentially to be effects for this couple? >> reporter: hi, fred. a few interesting things happened at the arraignment of jennifer and james crumbley. both kept at the oakland county
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jail not far from here. the same jail where their son ethan crumbley is being held. one thing we heard from the lawyers representing the crumbley, the parents, is that they argue they were not on the run. they were going to turn themselves in. at one point one lawyer apologized to the court. this is what she said. take a listen. >> i had no? there was a 4:00 arraignment the media had so many reports of random times quite frankly we didn't believe -- >> counsel, we're not getting into -- >> i just want to apologize to the court because we weren't error. >> reporter: there you hear the judge saying we're not getting into that. these parents withdrew $4,000 from an atm. very near the place they were supposed to be arraigned yesterday. they certainly didn't act as though they were planning to turn themselves in. what's also interesting about this case is the fact that charges are brought at all against the parents in a high school shooting case that is not commonly done, but in this case,
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oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald says these parents need to be held accountable failing to take action that could have saved the lives of these four teenagers who their son is accused of shooting and the seven other injured, all could have ended if the parents had just acted on the knowledge they had. they knew they bought a gun for ethan crumbley the friday prior to the shooting. they were made aware of disturbing incidents, by two teachers seeing ethan crumbley looking for ammunition on the phone the day before the shooting. day of shooting a drawing depicting a violent act, a body, two gunshots in it bleeding. picture of a gun. these are warnings and indications the parents should have acted on knowing that he had access to this gun and so that is why this prosecutor says these parents in this case are criminally negligent and they should be charged. they should be held accountable.
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by no means saying all parents would face charges in any high school shooting but in this case the facts are so egregious she needed to bring these charges. fred? >> so many lives forever changed. athena jones, thank you so much in pontiac, michigan. talk more about this now. joining us cnn law enforcement and form are acting police commissioner for baltimore anthony barksdale. so good to see you. given what we saw playing out in detroit overnight. the fact the parent were on the run for quite a while. are you in agreement that this bond should have ever been offered? >> no bond. nothing should have been offered. actions speak louder than words. the lawyers are doing what lawyers are paid to do. defending their clients, but these two parents should be held accountable, and i do not see how they got any bond. >> hmm.
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you've also said on cnn that some of the ways in which law enforcement, they've mishandled this case calling it a fumble. explain. >> when you know that you're going to proceed against certain individuals for significant crimes, you put surveillance on them. you put resources on them. it doesn't matter what it takes. you want to keep your eyes on them, because you know where you're going with the case. so for these individuals, for these parents to be able to make it to a warehouse in detroit -- now, law enforcement missed. they fumbled, and it's something now we have to put behind us and focus on making a solid case. >> uh-huh. a fugitive apprehension team even deployed several hours after the couple then was not reached. today their defense attorneys argued they were just trying to
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avoid the media, and that they had every intention on doing the right thing. already obtained an attorney before being on the run. what do you say to that argument and how does that impact the road ahead for them? >> i -- i honestly am just going to ignore that argument, because of the, you know, as mentioned earlier. the $4,000. the heading out to detroit. being in this warehouse. they've shown us too much to say they were just going to say, hey, we're ready now. it's not up to them. it's not up to them to decide if they are pending legal action. the law enforcement arm of this, whoever called in the tip, excellent work. you know? detroit did their thing. the person that called in the tip really helped. so we have to deal with these individuals in the court of law. the parents and the son.
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>> yeah. reportedly someone saw, recognized the vehicle. called police, and then come to find out the parent were inside that warehouse. i wonder what kind of charges if at all do you think the person who helped them have access to that warehouse potentially if there is someone who helped them have access, might they be facing charges? >> well, i hope they are. i mean, you know, it's on the books if there's a charge for it, aiding and abetting, know, charge these individuals, too, because it's going to be important to know whatever conversations they've had. we know that the mother likes to text. so from texts to conversations. we have to build a case against the entire family. >> i mean, speaking of a text, so much of this entire case is simply stunning, and you mentioned the text that prosecutors are saying the mother, jennifer, texted her son, don't do it, the day of the shooting. what explanation could jennifer
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crumbley have about that kind of text in tone? >> i don't know what she can say. their going to come up with something. so whatever she wants to say, fine, but if you even thought to send your son that you had a mother and son day at the range with was up to no good, and you accepted that text, then you know what you were dealing with in your household. >> what potentially do you see, how do you see this case, the handling of it, meaning now it's, it brought, you nknow, for involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents. how do you see this as laying the groundwork or setting a tone on how cases like this -- i mean, let's hope there are no month, you know, school shootings taking place, but, you know, this might be precedent setting if there are. in what way are you hoping some
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lessons learned from this might be applied, as a deterrent for this ever happening again? >> right. that is a great question. this case is huge. because it's going to set the tone around the united states for responsible gun ownership. you know? you have individuals what they call a straw purchase, where they go into a store, buy a gun and then pass it off to someone else. in a sense, this is pretty close to that. they bought a gun for a 15-year-old that had no business owning a gun. they put it in his hands, and we see what he did with this weapon. so, yes, they should be held accountable. i hope the prosecutor, i hope the police, put something together that is solid and i hope to get a, hope to see them get a conviction, but this case is really, really important. i hope they do not lose. >> yeah. all right. cnn law enforcement analyst
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commissioner anthony barksdale. good to see you. thank you so much. all right. two of michigan's most prominent sports teams are honoring the victims of the oxford high school shooting. the university of michigan football team will add a logo to the wolverines' uniform for today's big 10 championship game. the university tweeted these photos showing what the logo will look like, and the detroit lions are also honoring those killed or injured in the shooting. the team announced they will hold a moment of silence before kickoff tomorrow at ford field. all right. coming up, covid cases are rising across the country, but experts warn it's not just the new omicron variant that we need to be worrying about right now. plus -- the january 6th committee is facing a major test as former trump officials indicate that they will plead the fifth. details, straight ahead.
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confirmed to be in at least a dozen states at this moment. and that list is sure to grow as health experts study the mutations that could make it more transmissible. here is cdc director rochel walensky. >> what we do know is that early data and even mutation data are telling us that this may well be a more transmissible variant than delta, and so this is going to take some time to sort out. >> whatever omicron may bring, the problem right now is the delta variant. dr. walensky mentioned over half of states spiked more than 50% in the last week and the country as a whole is back over 100,000 cases a day. this on average. jessica is a microbiologist and senior adviser at the pandemic prevention ens sinstitute from angeles. always nice to see you.
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do you think more focus needs to be on the delta variant right now? >> i do. because it continues to be the dominant strain circulating here in the u.s. and globally. you mentioned we're back nearly daily average of 100,000 cases. but it's important to remember even though we're seeing big numbers again, we're not back at square one. right? we have still so many safe and effective tools in our tool kit to help keep the numbers down and prevent the most acute cases turning into hospitalizations and deaths. >> so many tools among them meaning vaccinate fully? >> the most powerful an important tools but all things. it's masking. mindful of your risk, avoiding high-risk indoor gatherings. keeping your distance. making sure you're fully vaccinated and if six months out of your last dose to get boosted, too. >> the omicron variant may share genetic makeup with the virus that causes the common cold. we all know the common cold we
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just have to live with. is that the path you see us potentially on with something like an omicron variant? >> i think the emphasis should be on the word "may" and "possible." we're awaiting crucial data to help us understand the true impact of this variant's transmissibility. if it's going to cod more severe illness. if it's going to actually evade protection from the vaccines. that said it is likely these cov-2 virus is pandemic, continues to circulate in the population but over time should become less and less disruptive. the hope as we become more protected as a population it won't be as destructive and put our health at strain and cause tremendous loss we're seeing around the world. >> vaccinemakers will try to make adjustments, but what do you think of the preparations some of them have already laid out? >> i think this is all as a just in case. right? all the speculation about
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vaccine effectiveness is far from helpful. we have to remember the omicron variant is still the sars-cov-2 virus. our immunities say there's no evidence it will reduce preventing severe disease and no data it's outcompeting deallta. preparing more modifications is the right thing to do as a "just in case". >> and the biden administration plans to tackle covid this winter looks something like this. people traveling internationally, take a negative test the day before you see and masking up still one of those measures. is this enough? >> it's not enough. i think all of these plans are important, and i would like to see them turn into actionable policies. a lot of talk about limiting
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domestic travel and international travel to those people who are vaccinated. i separate that from the unhelpful travel bans specifically targeting a lot of african countries actually not helpful policies. when it comes to the stuff here in the u.s. per the biden administration i would really like to see much more effort done on biosurveillance. what we're dealing with is a consequence of not doing enough to find indicators and warnings. we need to majorly improve our surveillance capacity. even doubled samples per week we have a long way to go to get a really good start trying to dentally the risks of pandemic threats. >> all right. jessica, always good to see you. thank you so much. >> you, too. still ahead, potential key witnesses in the january 6th investigation indicated that they will plead the fifth. and one told the committee that he isn't showing up for today's deposition. details, straight ahead.
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a pair of pro-trump lawyers the committee wants to talk to are plan tock plead the fifth amendment. both men subpoenaed by committee notified lawmakers they plan to invoke protections against self-incrimination. for more we bring in cnn's marshall cohen. what more can you tell us about these developments? >> we thought today might have been a big day but ending up as a dud because these guys are not going to be testifying. two key players. break them down in a second. the news, invoking the fifth
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amendment. it's their constitutional right not to say something they think might incriminate themselves or be used later on and they're exercising that right. the first guy is jeffrey clarke. a justice department official under the trump administration, involved in the schemes with trump to try to use the doj to overturn the election, to try to unseat the acting attorney general, depose him in a way, and send letters to states like georgia and pennsylvania to try to get them to overturn the results. those schemes weren't successful, but the committee wants to know more about what he was doing behind the scenes. the second guy not answering any questions will plead the fifth. john eastman. you see him on the screen at that infamous rally on january 6th. he is famous for his efforts to try to get vice president pence to break his oath, defy the constitution and use his position overseeing the
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electoral college to overturn the election. that, fred, obviously didn't work either, but the committee really wants to hear from these guys to learn about more of these efforts behind the scenes and sounds like they won't get any answers. >> trump's former chief of staff mark meadows is cooperating, in some ways. with this, with his subpoena, but also claiming executive privilege on other parts and has a new book out about his time in the white house. what is he saying and how might it impact the january 6th probe? >> that's right, fred. mark meadows is cooperating to a certain extent with the committee and expectsed to go in and speak with the lawmakers this upcoming week. that book, though, is definitely something the lawmakers will want to read before they question him. it's incredible. we obtained a copy yesterday and read through a lot of it. he doubles down on the big lie and peddling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and whitewashing the january 6th
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insurrection. let me read awe quote from the book. this is the only thing he divulging about his conversations with trump on that day after that speech you just saw footage from the speech. when trump said to the crowd, we are going to walk to the capitol. apparently according to meadows, it was kind of a joke. here's what he said in the book "when he got offstage reaching to trump" president trump let me know he was speaking meta metaphorically about the walk to the capitol and nos we couldn't organize a trip like that on such short notice. clear the whole time he didn't actually intend to walk down pennsylvania avenue with the crowd. okay. fredricka, i have read dozens and dozens of cases against these rioters. meadows is not telling the truth here. many of those rioters said, i wasn't planning to go to the capitol, but when trump said, let's all go together, i decided to march, and some of them even were expecting him to be there as ridiculous as it sounds.
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many of them told the fbi they did expect him to be there. meadows is kind of whitewashing january 6th and one last thing about this is that he's talking about this in his book. his conversations with trump. but also claiming that they're privileged when the committee is asking about it. that could be an issue for him. we'll see how it all plays out this week behind closed doors. >> interesting how many drafts of those thoughts he had before it finally went to be published. >> true. >> marshall cohen, thank you so much. appreciate it. still ahead, teachers flagged concerning behavior from the suspected michigan shooter moments before the fatal attack was carried out. what could have been done different ly in those critical moments? we'll discuss, straight ahead. (man) like what? (burke) well, you'd get a discount for insuring your jet skis... and boat...rv...life... ...home and more. you could save up to forty-five percent. (man) that's a whole lot of discounts. (burke) well, we offer coverage for a whole lot of things, and you
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it's not magic that makes more holiday deliveries to homes in the us than anyone else, it's the hardworking people of the united states postal service. we're learning chilling new details about the events that led up to that deadly school shooting in michigan. investigators say james crumbley purchased the gun for his 15-year-old son ethan as a christmas present just four days before the shootings. ethan and his mom jennifer even posting about the gun on social media over the day that followed. the morning of the shooting, a teacher found a disturbing note written by ethan. his parents were immediately called to the school. prosecutors say ethan had the gun in his backpack even before his parents had a meeting with administrators. the oakland county prosecutor is
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now charging his parents with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. >> and i by no means say an active shooter situation should always result in a criminal prosecution against parents. but the facts of this case are so egregious. this impacts me as a mother. >> joining us now, the co-director for the university of michigan's institute for firearm injury prevention, and the co-principle investigator for the national center for school safety, mark zimmerman and sandra graham berman a psychology professor spe specializing in children exposed to extreme violence.
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someone who study these sn incidents, what should have been done? >> probably earlier signs than that, but this idea of identifying signing, trying to get at the issue early a really important, but i tend to try to think of this ecologically as we think about the trauma being not only of the families who were victims of the actual shooting but the rest of the families in the school and the children at school were also affected. similarly i think about community violence and how that might affect a child. a family conflict and what happens in the family. access to firearms and, of course, the school climate itself. so i think about all of those factors together in thinking how we can prevent school violence more generally and shootings more specifically. >> all of this is just so
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heartbreaking. sandra, four families now who have lost children, and there were seven others who were injured and their families, too, are grieving and suffering. but the trauma extend to every student who was in that school that day. really any student, you know, who even if they weren't in school, this is their place, you know, of refuge, the safety. so what do you expect that all of them are experiencing right now? >> it's very clear that this was quite a traumatic event and it affects everyone. those close to the people who died, of the families of the students who died. those who had friends. those who were injured, those eyewitness to the events and felt their own life was threatened at the moment, but also just students in the school who know someone and no longer feel safe and no longer have the same feelings about their school
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but about, also, how things are going to go for them. it's important to understand that almost everyone will have a reaction of traumatic stress. nightmares, difficulty sleeping. becoming more anxious or fearful, but most people adjust over time. most people are able to, to heal somewhat and to go forward, even though they'll never forget the event or the people, but they're able to manage it. but there's a number of people who can't. and i think the immediate programs that are being made available to the students in the school, having the evening vigils, things like that. bring people together. provide the support that's going to help in that healing. but there are a number of people who may not recover over time. kind of like long-haulers with traumatic stress, and those people are going to need more help. more professional help. >> yeah. mark, i mean, the numbers are astounding. 48 shootings on k-12 campuses this year alone.
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32 of them since august 1st. i mean, how does anyone make sense of why is something like -- why is this happening on any school campus? >> again, it's all contributing factors just not school. covid doesn't help either. anecdotally i've spoke ton educators across country. they noted that there's been more bullying, more fighting since kids have returned to school who were not in school all of last year or most of last year, and, really, firearms and shootings are the tip of the iceberg. 20% to 30% of our youth are bullied in school. 20% to 25% are, report being in a fight. three quarters report witnessing bullying in the schools. those are all precursors to the horrific event we saw in oxford. but context matters. schools can do many things about
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changing the environment of the school. they could focus on social emotional learning. helping youth develop skills so they can address the conflicts they're having. bullying prevention programs that would provide bystander support and bystander intervention, if they see somebody getting bullied. and kind of creating the environment of support rather than tension and conflict. >> hmm. well, sandra, you know, you touched on this. i mean, there's a trickle-down effect. there are a lot of people who are suffering from trauma as a result of this. not just the students and faculty in the schools but the entire neighborhoods. it's all the community. you heard the prosecutor. you heard police, law enforcement, who say this has happened to all of them. so collectively, how is everyone going to help each other heal or cope? >> well i think you're raising a good point. it's very important to come
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together. to take the time to heal. to be respectful and to help each other. for parents to talk to their kids. they don't have to have all the answers. they just have to be available to listen, and answer questions that come up. but there is so much more that we can be doing on the community level by supporting more mental health people in the school system, but also mental health services available in the community. these kids don't just suddenly become this way in high school one day. this is something that's developed over time. if the parents can't see it, we need more education to help parents understand and to help other kids be able to talk about, you know, how they're feeling, if they see trouble signs from others, et cetera. there are many steps we can take. we don't have to wait until high school. the sooner we can help kids develop, mark said, develop better coping strategies but also get support from the family
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and services available in their communities. there just aren't enough services. waiting lines are a year long for mental health. >> terrible. invaluable information both of you are sharing with us. appreciate you both. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead, facebook is under fire right now for making money off ads comparing the u.s. government's response to the pandemic to nazi germany. the alarming cnn reporting, straight ahead.
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facebook again under fire after an exclusive cnn report.
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the social media network sold ads promoting -- pushing political violence sold as welling. merchandise companies spending hundreds of thousands on facebook featured these posts. we're following this story closely and we have this report. >> reporter: hey, fred, yes. really disturbing and frankly disgusting ads running on facebook. take a look at these originally from america but currently reside in 1941 germany. that's a comparison for the u.s. response to covid. and another one with a picture of a syringe slowly and quietly but a holocaust and another ad seeming to condone political violence. facebook for all its systems
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talk about moderators say they hire, missed these ads. didn't see them apparently, until they were brought to their attention by cnn. facebook said those first two ads, nazi and holocaust comparisons do actually go against their policies and not allowed to run again but the last ad hanging traitors, facebook seems to say that's okay and you can pay them to run that sort of ad on the platform. facebook oftentimes will put all of these and try to frame it as a free speech argument, but these aren't just the random posts on a platform. these are actually paid ads. facebook is accepting money to run to target users. worth mentions, of course, the instagram ceo owned by facebook's parent company meta appears before the senate this coming wednesday, likely will be askeds about this and many, many other issues facing the company. >> donie o'sullivan, thank you. joining me with more on this
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topic roger mcnamee, co-founder of elevation partners and an early facebook investors, former adviser to mark zuckerberg and now a critic of the company. great to see you. >> pleasure to be back we. >> we heard from facebook the explanation from donenie reporting. is this an issue not noticing or an issue of looking the other way? >> very much the latter. facebook does not prioritize the safety of its users. there are literally billions of posts on facebook platforms every single day, and some percentage of them, you know, i don't know if it's 1% or 5%, are harmful posts. that means tens of millions of harmful posts a day. now, facebook would have to hire hundreds of thousands of people to police that. artificial intelligence just isn't good enough. their strategy is simple.
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do nothing and wait for people to complain. or for intread it reporters like donie to find it'sthe problem with that, of course, is the harm's already been done, and there are literally millions of instances of this, of people who cannot get their story out into the public. this is a terrible, terrible thing. this product is currently unsafe. >> then you have mark zuckerberg, whether on capitol hill or maybe other lieutenants who say, look, we're doing everything we can, but then you're also painting a picture of there's just too much and they don't have enough staff in order to find all of this stuff, but, whether it's donie o'sullivan or any other users of facebook, certainly sounds like from reporting that all of this is pretty easy to find. >> well, and it's actually worse than this, fredricka, because the business model itself encourages exactly this kind of harmful behavior because they're trying to grab our attention. their systems all amplify, promote and recommend the things
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that engage us. so things like fear and outrage. so hate speech, disinformation. conspiracy theories. scams. all of those things have special advantages on facebook because they generate more rules and there's no regulator watching this stuff. the problem is that the harms now include undermining a pandemic or a response to a pandemic, they include an insurrection, and the scope of harm is so serious that the government has to enforce some kind of safety laws on these companies. >> you're saying the government needs to do that, because in your view it doesn't sound like facebook really has the impetus to ever change anything. >> the incentives are perverse. basically facebook is in a position where they can say to the government, we're bigger than you are, we have 3 billion
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members, right? so they basically ignore the rules unless the law is brought down on them like a hammer. they've gotten away with this for 15 years. expecting them to change is unrealistic. >> so in one respect you say congress, there has to be some regulation, but then you have previously said that facebook executives should also face criminal probes for various offenses. how might that happen without any kind of congressional regulation? >> so, fredricka, the challenge of congress is it takes ten years to do anything. and these companies, not just facebook, but also google and others, have maybe by indifference violated the law. facebook has been accused with evidence by the whistleblower of enabling and allowing human
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trafficking so its platforms. that is a felony with jail time. >> by being complicit, you're saying. >> all of these things are criminal things that require an investigation. if we're going to have laws, we have to enforce them. >> roger mcnamee, good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. >> have a great holiday season. still ahead, more on your breaking news, the parents of a suspected high school shooter now in the same jail as their son. we'll have details straight ahead. first, today's start small, think big. >> farming is interesting. you learn everything from the dirt to livestock, then biology and chemistry and physics. as we were building this, i was thinking legacy not just for our family, but everybody's families. the reason we built this, it's
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if you're planning a winter getaway to hawaii, you may want to pack your parka. the national weather service has issued a blizzard warning for part of the big island.
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cnn's allison chinchar is live in the weather center. she joins me right now. usually people go to hawaii to escape the cold and now they're going to be hit in the face with it. >> if you go to the beaches, the lower elevation, it's still going to be mild. you'll still have sunshine. we're talking about the higher peaks on the big island of hawaii and they get snow on the big island pretty much every year. blizzard warnings aren't as common. this is the first we've had in nearly four years on the big island. they're expecting up to about a foot, and the lower elevations where it's going to be warmer rain will be the big factor, and a lot of rain. widespread. you're talking 4 to 6 inches, but some islands could pick up 8 to 10 inches of rain. the interesting thing is that parts of hawaii actually have had more snow this year than areas of the lower 48, including denver. only 8% of the u.s. is under snow cover right now in the
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lower 48. that may change in the coming days because we have not winter storm that will be sliding across the central portion of the country in the next 24 to 48 hours from now. a winter weather alert stretches all the way from washington state over toward the u.p. of michigan. a lot of the heavy snow begins tonight and then the focus takes over once we get into sunday. a lot of these areas could be looking at several inches. some spots could pick up more than a foot of snow. >> unbelievable. hawaii getting more snow than the lower 48, that is just some crazy stuff. all right, allison chinchar, thank you so much. hello, again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me this saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. let's begin with this breaking news. the parents of the accused michigan school shooter appearing in court for the first time after being arrested late last night, after a statewide manhunt. jame

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